Research Topic

Nanoscience and Nanomaterials for the Knowledge and Conservation of Cultural Heritage

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About this Research Topic

Understanding the nano and micro-chemical and structural features of artworks for the comprehensive knowledge of their “material” nature and the deciphering of manufacturing processes is a stimulating opportunity for experts in advanced diagnostic techniques and for chemists for a wider valorisation and ...

Understanding the nano and micro-chemical and structural features of artworks for the comprehensive knowledge of their “material” nature and the deciphering of manufacturing processes is a stimulating opportunity for experts in advanced diagnostic techniques and for chemists for a wider valorisation and fruition of cultural heritage. Moreover, studies on the cutting edge in nanoscience and nanomaterials aimed to investigate in details degradation phenomena and to develop innovative conservation approaches are of great importance to protect and transmit to the future generations our cultural heritage. The ability to produce and validate innovative materials for the non-invasive cleaning and the sustainable conservation is significant in a variety of different heritage materials as metals, ceramics, stones, paper, glasses, textiles, bones, mortars and concrete.
Although the study of works of art has received a great attention and much progress in recent years, most of these activities have been carried out by using conventional approaches and many challenges to face the complex world of the cultural heritage materials still exist, for example those concerning the following potential subjects of this Research Topic:

- The detailed identification of degradation agents and mechanisms acting at the nanoscale;
- The full understanding the chemical mechanisms controlling the protective properties of conservation materials;
- The study of the peculiar nano-features of original and fake works of art to be used to recognise counterfeited artifacts;
- The determination of the micro and nano-chemical and structural characteristic of heritage materials for their reproduction as closely as possible for a correct restoration.
- Design, synthesis, characterisation and validation of nano-materials for the really non-invasive and selective cleaning, the reliable consolidation and the long-lasting conservation also under unsuitable climate conditions. Particular attention should be devoted to the researches adopting the “drug delivery” approach aimed to develop methodologies, formulations and tools to transport active nano-materials as needed to safely achieve a protective or inhibiting “therapeutic” effect;
- Development and application of an integrated methodological approaches based on the combined use of complementary surface, interfaces and bulk analytical techniques;
- Development of innovative materials, tools and devices operating at the nanoscale to control and prevent the degradation phenomena during storage or exhibition.
- Development of conservation materials giving rise to innovative performace such as self-cleaning, depollutant and repellence properties.
- Development of novel materials specially designed for preserving heritage concrete. New performance such as corrosion inhibition and water repellence can be included in the materials


Keywords: Nanostructures in artwork, nanomaterials for sustainable conservation, nano diagnostic techniques, non-invasive cleaningmaterials, deciphering ancient technologies


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